By Dr. Paul Drew
Welcome to the fourth issue of volume two of Swish, a weekly periodical with recaps and photos of Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball games, and other pertinent info such as standings, schedules, announcements, and updates from the program.
Registration for the Spring season of youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA is now open online at http://welcome.ymcasm.org/programs/youth/sports-play/ or in person at the Santa Monica YMCA. The season will start March 18th, 2019.
Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, the Swish will have a series of articles dedicated to the history of African Americans in basketball and honoring the pioneers that led to diversity and inclusivity of the game, helping to make it the sport that we all very much enjoy today. The following is from https://www.blackfives.org/ I strongly encourage everyone to visit their website and support their foundation.
The Black Fives Era In Perspective
Just after the game of basketball was invented in 1891, teams were called “fives” in reference to their five starting players.
Basketball, like American society, was racially segregated. Teams made up entirely of African American players were often known as “colored quints,” “Negro cagers,” or “black fives.”
The sport remained divided from 1904 — when basketball was first introduced to African Americans on a wide scale organized basis — until the racial integration of the National Basketball League in the 1940s and the National Basketball Association in 1950.
The period in between became known as the Black Fives Era, when dozens of all-black teams emerged, flourished, and excelled.
African Americans were making moves in basketball generations before the N.B.A. was born.
At first, those teams – sponsored by churches, athletic and social clubs, “Colored” YMCAs, businesses, and newspapers – had few places to play, since gymnasiums and athletic clubs were whites-only.
But when the phonograph emerged in the early 1900s, black music – ragtime, jazz, and blues – became so popular that a dance craze swept America. Almost overnight, sheet music and player pianos in the parlor gave way to dance halls and ballrooms.
Positive and culturally affirming opportunities in the entertainment industry replaced the insulting, degrading minstrelsy of the past.
For observant and enterprising African American sports promoters, these spaces became ready-made basketball venues on off nights, featuring music by top black musicians and dancing afterward until well past midnight.
In urban industrial centers like New York, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, black people were in motion.
New migrants from the South as well as new immigrants from all parts of the Caribbean, Africa, Central-, and South America were looking for ways to meet each other and assimilate.
As a result, Black Fives Era basketball games went beyond the sport itself and became meaningful social events.
Though commonplace today, the marriage of basketball and music was an African American innovation that grew out of necessity, opportunism, timing, and broad cultural awareness by community leaders.
This is why so many early game advertisements included the headline, “Basket Ball and Dance.”
There never existed a black professional basketball league akin to baseball’s Negro Leagues. However, independent African American teams played within a well-organized nationwide barnstorming circuit.
They commanded national attention in the Negro press and headlines in local papers while battling for the annual right to be called “Colored Basketball World’s Champions.”
The Black Fives Era spanned what were perhaps America’s darkest yet most colorful years, a rich period that included the First Black Migration, the emergence of the phonograph and radio, the growth of entertainment culture, the explosion of jazz, ragtime, and the blues, vice reform, lynchings and race riots, the ballroom dancing craze, Prohibition, the Roaring ’20s, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the Golden Age of Sports.
Out of many, one African American team, the New York Renaissance (aka Harlem “Rens”) stood apart as arguably the most successful basketball team of the century, irrespective of race or ethnicity.
From 1923 to 1948, the Rens won 2,588 of 3,117 games – a staggering winning percentage of 83% sustained over a 25-year period!
The Rens ushered in the Harlem Renaissance period, smashed the color barrier in pro basketball, and helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement.
The teams and players of the Black Fives Era created something from nothing, with no road map, no instructions, and no recipes, despite many fears, doubts, and obstacles – and for little more than the love of the game.
With definite plans, collective purpose, and relentless pursuit, they kept climbing to higher levels of success on increasingly bigger stages, in front of ever-growing audiences.
All the while they fostered hope, aspiration, pride, unity, pragmatism, and self-esteem among African Americans during a time — the most pivotal period in black history of the last century — when those attributes were prerequisites for sheer survival.
The men and women of the Black Fives Era were true basketball pioneers whose desire simply to play their best and innovate the game opened doors for generations of African American players.
In doing so they left a worldwide legacy that inspires not only ballers, but also all of us to this day. Now you can find out more!
Orioles vs Red Sox: The day before Super Bowl Sunday, the Orioles kids had dreams and chatter of an LA Super Bowl victory but just as they would be disappointed later in the weekend, they just couldn’t get enough steam together against this tough shooting Red Scx team on Saturday.
Orioles were without star Jackson Harper (ironically who was with his Mother at the Super Bowl in Atlanta!) and two way specialist Eloise Siegler who combine as not only the teams tallest two players but also as their key defensive duo.
The Orioles did their best to hold off the Sox, but Sox shooting was too good and Orioles defense not tight enough. Orioles also couldn’t get the fast break points they found in earlier games nor find their way inside consistently enough to get necessary shots at basket.
Spencer Nelson and Tristan Hayes tossed in a basket a piece after restricted Sox defense started in the second half and Cruz Hecklin racked up several boards with Bryson Ning doing his best on defense along with a steal.
The Sox had a couple players truly catch fire in a very impressive overall team effort that by the end it just was no contest as the Sox blew out the Orioles handing them their first and definitive loss of the season. Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes
Rays over Yankees 13-9. Our Rays started hot and opened an 8-0 lead that would be 9-1 after the halftime free throws. Vitalina Moncher again lead us with a full stat sheet of steals, rebounds, and points, but it was Aaron Dyner who played his best game of the season and made sure the comeback efforts of the Yankees would fall short. Aaron hit buckets when needed on offense and played equally well on defense. Rosalina Storstein also had an excellent all-around game. Theo Franklin and Adam Norman showed strong improvement to help keep us undefeated. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher
BLUE JAYS GET DOUBLED BY THE TWINS — February 2nd — It was a battle of the defeated as both teams tried to get off the mat for a first win of the young season. Defensive laps contributed to the Twins finding offense where they least expected it, but girl power did not quit, with Scarlett Harris getting the hoop and harm for a total of 3 points. Sylvie Levitt also had 2 points. Despite constant improvement, the Blue Jays remain hungry for that first W. Final score in the Twins favor, 10-5. Submitted by Coach Pete Harris
Cardinals versus Padres. In a close competition that featured good defense and good ball distribution by both teams, the game was a tight affair throughout. The Padres hung on for a two point victory 15-13. The Cardinals were led in scoring by Dominic Drew with 6 points, and Rayan Etemadnia had 5 points which included a three pointer in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. Austin O’Brien and Aiden Lin had standout performances on defense. Submitted by Coach Paul Drew
The Padres are starting to really work as a team, with increased passing and confidence in each other. Defensively – everyone worked hard and helped propel the team toward the narrow win. More players are taking shots at the basket and everyone is playing with good energy. Notably Parker Keslow and James Cook were strong on offense and defense while Ethan Pages, Jake Kazerani, Kingston Andes, Teddy Chang and Sampson Robinson helped with scoring, rebounds, driving to the basket and steals. Submitted by Coach Kerri Keslow
Cardinals versus Giants. Everything was clicking on all cylinders for the Cardinals in a commanding 25-10 victory over the Giants. Buckets O’plenty were had by Miles Franklin, Aiden Lin, Dominic Drew, Monika Diaz, and Rayan Etemadnia. Congrats to Aiden Harvey on his first Bantam basket ever. The Cardinals played their best game of the season by demonstrating amazing team communication on defense and passing to open players on offense. It was a joy to watch. Submitted by Coach Paul Drew
REDS VS BREWERS: The Reds faced another tough opponent in the Brewers and played a hard-fought, closely contested game. Auden Steiger put together another strong game with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block to lead the Reds. Felix Idell, Lara Masood, and Leo Epstein all scored baskets; combining for 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Erol Besincioglu was strong on the glass, pulling down 4 rebounds to go along with 1 steal and 1 point at the free throw line. Elliot Ma added 1 free throw, 3 steals and 2 rebounds while playing tough defense all game long. Sienna Schickler also picked up a steal to help her team stay in the game.
Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood
REDS VS PADRES: Playing for the 2nd time in two days, the Reds matched up against another tough opponent in the Brewers. Erol Besincioglu played a great game, helping his team with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal; including a 16′ jumper from the left wing. Koa Entsminger got in the act with nice jump shot for 2 points to go with 2 rebounds and 1 steal. Elliot Ma played another strong game with 4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Helping Elliot on defense and mixing it up in the paint, Auden Steiger pulled down 5 rebounds, nabbed 2 steals and 1 block. Felix Idell grabbed 3 rebounds and added an assist, setting his teammate Jonathan up for a basket. Jonathan Watson scored 3 points (including a free throw) and 1 rebound to keep the game within reach. Lara Masood had a nice all-around game with 2 points and 2 rebounds. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood
Looking to bounce back from two tough defeats last week; the Reds went toe to toe with Diamondbacks. It took a total team effort with all nine Reds making significant contributions. Alex Ma played a brilliant game with 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal to go along with several timely passes and solid defense against the taller Diamondbacks. Leo Epstein brought his A-game and dropped 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal. Erol Besincioglu had another big game with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and some strong interior defense. Koa Entsminger scored 2 points and collected 2 steals while battling the quick Diamondback guards. Felix Idell scored a key coast-to-coast lay-up to help the Reds regain the lead in the first half of the game. Elliot Ma was also clutch; scoring a “3-pt play the old-fashioned way” and adding 1 assist and 1 rebound. As the Reds started to building a lead in the second half, the Diamondbacks responded well with a flurry of baskets. Key rebounds and defense from Lara Masood and Sienna Schickler; who combined for 5 rebounds and 2 steals helped the Reds maintain control of the game in the 4th quarter. Some stoic defense by the Diamondbacks gave them one last possession with a few seconds left. With time winding down, Jonathan Watson stepped up and made a huge defensive play, securing a loose ball and sealing the victory. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood
Our Brewers took on the Pirates in what turned out to be a far more exciting game than the Super Bowl played later that day. The Pirates jumped out to an early lead but we hung tough and kept it to a one score game going into the half. Key baskets were scored by Sammy Levi and Dylan Kravitz, and Luca Hayutin had a big assist, his 1st ever in YMCA Bbball!The 2nd half was a classic back and forth affair between two very hard playing teams who both wanted the victory. Sebastian Jukanovic was clutch for us late in the game by making 3 key baskets to give us a lead that we didn’t give up. Player of the Game Julian Reed helped seal the victory in the final quarter by grabbing half of his game high 10 rebounds as well as scoring 4 points. Final score Brewers 22-Pirates 18. Submitted by Coach Bill Kravitz
Angels over A’s 50-28. After some good practice this week , our Angels felt confident coming into this game and our strong efforts were rewarded with a very solid 50-28 win over the A’s. Dom Kajota had a big first half with multiple 3’s and would lead our very balanced scoring attack. Sam Rubin and Timosha Moncher also hit double figures in scoring. Amir Jahromi and Lorenzo Stabilini played very well in the paint, as we had strong performances by all players on both sides of the ball. Jesse Lister, Sheamus Daniels, Taylor Chen, and Sebastian Fouquette all contributed greatly on offense and defense in an excellent team win. Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher
The Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball program gives special thanks to referees Mychal Creer and Kelly Parkinson for all their help on Super Bowl Sunday. Mychal took extra time to work with the kids who came to their game but the rest of their team didn’t show. Mychal had competition games of sweet spot, around the world, knockout, and other fun games to help the kids improve their basketball skills. Both these referees made it fun for everyone who showed for Super Bowl Sunday.
This Week’s Profile
Each week, Swish has a profile of a coach, player, or someone in the program who inspires all of us involved in Santa Monica YMCA basketball.
This week’s profile features the Taylors, father Dominic, and son Cassius. Cassius has been a player at the Santa Monica YMCA for many seasons, and everybody loves his infectious smile, joyous personality, and his love for the game of basketball. Dominic has been an instrumental help to all the players in the league with his assistant coaching and being a supportive parent to the program. Dominic stresses positive reinforcement to all the kids, and emphasizes the importance of keeping yourself educated and listening to coaches in order to learn and work together as a team.
DocDrew: How has basketball been an influence in your life?
Dominic: It was a very significant part of my life. I was a three-star player from New Jersey, and I had good enough grades and standardized test scores to be a Division 1 Player. I played at Brown and we won the Ivy League in 1986. We played in the NCAA Tournament which was a blast although we were crushed by Syracuse.
DocDrew: What do you enjoy about youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Dominic: This is a fun structured environment where the kids can play. Very different than playing in the parks of New Jersey. The focus is on the kids enjoying themselves, which I like immensely.
DocDrew: What advice would you give young players?
Dominic: Enjoy the game as much as you can. Play hard, but study harder. I always remember my trip to 5-Star Basketball Camp, when after I played against Mugsy Bogues, the late Howard Garfinkel asked me my SAT score. He was told by a friend that I had done well. I told him, and quite literally that day my life changed. I was being recruited by mid-major programs, but then elite academic institutions came a calling. I could hold my own with the point guards of New York and New Jersey but stellar school work separated me.
DocDrew: What do you enjoy the most about playing Basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Cassius: It’s fun. I get to play with my friends. I also get to make new friends.
DocDrew: What are your favorite moments or memories in your basketball experience at the Santa Monica YMCA?
Cassius: My favorite memory is a game, I think it was a year ago. I stole the ball, came down on a fastbreak, stopped and hit a shot from deep. My dad thought the shot was too far, but it went in.
DocDrew: Do you have any role models or favorite players that you look up to?
Cassius: I don’t really have one. If I had to choose maybe Stephen Curry. No, Michael Jordan. It’s Michael Jordan.
The youth basketball program truly thanks the Taylors for all their support and exemplifying the three principles that we stand for at the Santa Monica Family YMCA: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.
Saturday, February 2nd
Orioles 4, Red Sox 26
Yankees 9, Rays 13
Twins 10, Blue Jays 5
Cardinals 13, Padres 15
Mets 18, Nationals 22
Astros 65, Royals 34
Mariners 50, Rangers 31
Angels 50, Athletics 28
Sunday, February 3rd
No games scheduled
Giants 10, Cardinals 25
Brewers 22, Pirates 18
Diamondbacks 20, Reds 21
Cubs 5, Rockies 6
Rangers forfeit, Nationals forfeit
Mets forfeit, Tigers forfeit
Braves 30, Whites Sox 34
Phillies 11, Marlins 14
No games scheduled
Teams are awarded 5 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, 1 point for a loss, 0 points for a forfeit. Tournament games have greater point value. Teams are listed in their place in the standings with W-L-T and team points.
Rays 3-0-0, 15 points
Red Sox 2-1-0, 11 points
Orioles 2-1-0, 11 points
Yankees 1-2-0, 7 points
Twins 1-2-0, 7 points
Blue Jays 0-3-0, 3 points
Rockies 3-2-0, 17 points
Cardinals 3-2-0, 17 points
Brewers 3-1-0, 16 points
Dodgers 2-1-1, 14 points
Padres 2-1-1, 14 points
Diamondbacks 2-3-0, 13 points
Pirates 2-3-0, 13 points
Reds 2-2-0, 12 points
Giants 1-3-0, 8 points
Cubs 1-3-0, 8 points
Phillies 3-2-0, 17 points
Nationals 3-1-0, 15 points *one loss by forfeit
White Sox 2-2-0, 12 points
Marlins 2-2-0, 12 points
Rangers 2-2-0, 11 points *one loss by forfeit
Tigers 1-3-0, 7 points *one loss by forfeit
Mets 1-3-0, 7 points *one loss by forfeit
Braves 0-3-0, 3 points
Astros 3-0-0, 15 points
Royals 2-1-0 11 points
Angels 2-1-0, 11 points
Mariners 1-2-0, 7 points
Athletics 1-1-0, 6 points
Rangers 0-4-0, 4 points
All games are played in the gymnasium of the Santa Monica YMCA
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2019
10:30 AM YANKEES VS TWINS
11:40 AM ORIOLES VS RAYS
12:50 PM RED SOX VS BLUE JAYS
2:00 PM GIANTS VS PADRES
3:10 PM MARLINS VS BRAVES
4:20 PM PHILLIES VS NATIONALS
5:30 PM WHITE SOX TIGERS
6:40 PM METS VS RANGERS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2019****PICTURE DAY #1****
10:30 AM CUBS VS BREWERS—NOT YOUR PICTURE DAY
10:30 AM METS AND WHITE SOX TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
11:40 AM METS VS WHITE SOX GAME
11:40 AM PHILLIES AND RANGERS TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
12:40 PM METS, WHITE SOX, PHILLIES AND INDIANS TAKE 4 TEAM GROUP PIC
12:50 PM PHILLIES VS RANGERS GAME
12:50 PM MARLINS AND TIGERS TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
2:00 PM MARLINS VS TIGERS GAME
2:00 PM BRAVES AND NATIONALS TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
3:00 PM MARLINS, TIGERS, BRAVES AND NATIONALS TAKE 4 TEAM GROUP PIC
3:10 PM BRAVES VS NATIONALS GAME
3:10 PM ASTROS AND MARINERS TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
4:20 PM ASTROS VS MARINERS GAME
4:20 PM ANGELS AND ROYALS TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
5:20 PM ALL MAJOR LEAGUE TEAMS GATHER FROM 6 TEAM GROUP PHOTO
5:30 PM ANGELS VS ROYALS GAME
5:30 PM ATHLETICS AND RANGERS TAKE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
6:40 PM ATHLETICS VS RANGERS
Thank you very much,
Dr. Paul Drew, assistant youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA, editor and publisher of Swish